Lavinia Paris

While I was in Paris, I made a quick trip over to Lavinia, a new wine store on the boulevard de la Madeleine.

The store is all sleek displays, stainless steel, varnished wood, and efficient service. It's an interesting contrast to the personalized, historical, homey feel of Legrand et Fils. I was told about it by Dominique Garretta at Taittinger (video interview to come), and she suggested I go there for a quick, informal wine-tasting.

By that, she meant that you purchase a sort of credit card at Lavinia with whatever euro-amount you'd like, and then you can use it to buy "tastes" of the rotating selection of wines that they have stored and preserved in their state-of-the-art stainless steel and nitrogen cases. You can get tastes for as little as .90 euros, or as much as 25 euros (that was for a Lafite Rothschild).

I think this is going to be the new trend at fancy wine stores and wine bars alike. Drinkers are getting more savvy, and wanting to try more wines from diverse regions in the same sitting, so this is going to be a practical supply solution. For instance, the newest wine bar in Los Angeles is a place called Pourtal in Santa Monica that operates on the same premise.

For a quick tutorial on how exactly this all works, take a look at the video I made in the store.